Posts tagged with "KCBX Podcast"

World Bicycle Relief transforming lives

Saving the world one bicycle at a time

Culture Editor Tom Wilmer visits with Will King, Bicycle Design Engineer at SRAM’s San Luis Obispo, California R&D high-tech bicycle component facility (RockShox, Trucativ, Zipp, Quarq, etc.). King talks with Tom about SRAM’s involvement with World Bicycle Relief an international nonprofit organization that mobilizes people and transforms lives through The Power of Bicycles.

 

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH WILL KING

Fundraisers and individual donations provide specially designed, locally assembled bicycles to students, healthcare workers and entrepreneurs in rural Africa, connecting them with education, healthcare and economic opportunities.

The Buffalo Bikes are a literal life-transforming gift for people in remote African villages and communities. Young girls are primary recipient of the bike, as the transport offers them a safer mode of travel between school and home, and dramatically reduces travel time as schools are often situated far from the village.

Another primary recipient of the Buffalo Bikes are health care workers. One woman that King visited with told him that she travels more than 60 miles per day delivering health care to recipients in remote villages. Dairy farmers are able to increase their deliveries by more than 25 percent, and overall student attendance increases up to 28 percent.

World Bicycle Relief provided some touching life transforming examples: Community Health Worker Ramadhan Bakari cares for 522 people across 105 households in Kakamega County, Western Kenya. But when walking up to 8 km to see each patient, he could visit only a few homes per day.

Things changed in July 2015 when the Malaha Dispensary and Health Center, in partnership with Africa Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) Kenya, received 30 Buffalo Bicycles to strengthen its community health systems. Trips to patients’ homes became 10 minutes instead of an hour or more. And healthcare workers can now visit up to 30 homes a day.

Community Health Workers (CHWs) are crucial healthcare providers in rural Africa. CHWs visit patients at home, transport patients to medical facilities, and provide preventative education and care.

Their work is especially vital for children born in sub-Saharan Africa, who are 12 times more likely than their counterparts in high-income countries to die before their 5th birthday. The region has 11% of the world’s population but carries 24% of the global disease burden. It lacks the infrastructure to provide even basic healthcare to many of its people.

To fulfill their responsibilities, CHWs often walk long distances over rough terrain and in inclement weather. As a result, fewer people get the care they need.

But with a bicycle, healthcare workers can reach 45% more patients and travel four times farther than on foot, research shows.

At the Malaha Dispensary, Clinic Manager Dr. Bernard Ochanda says 60 bicycles are as valuable as one car. Bicycles can cover more territory and serve more people.

Many times, “the bicycle is used in getting the mothers into the clinic for delivery,” says Ochanda. “Compared to home deliveries, delivery at the clinic is far more safe. Traveling by bicycle is far less expensive than hiring a vehicle.”

World Bicycle Relief believes that all individuals should have access to proper healthcare.

The net cost of a Buffalo Bike is around $150, underwritten through donations. To ensure that the bikes remain in operable condition, local villagers are trained as mechanics, and often suggest design improvements to minimize breakdowns.


To learn more and to donate visit: www.worldbicyclerelief.org

Delectable dishes at Pietro's Trattoria in Lodi, California Photo Credit: Pietro's Trattoria

Pietro’s Trattoria a Lodi favorite

360 Magazine Culture Editor Tom Wilmer reports from Lodi, California at Pietro’s Trattoria

Pietro’s has been a favorite with Lodi, California locals since the Italian eatery for three decades.

Family owned by Jim and Annette Murdaca, Wilmer stopped in for a visit with their son, Chef Pete who spent a year and a half learning the craft as an stagiaire (intern) in Calabria and Parma Southern Italy.

CLICK HERE to listen to the NPR/KCBX Podcast interview with Chef Pete

Pete Murdoca in the kitchen at Pietro's in Lodi California

Come along and discover how Pete has infused the family Trattoria with an Old-World cooking style predicated on not only sourcing super fresh locally-sourced ingredients, but also harvesting greens from their own garden.

 

A random sampler of Pietro’s dishes that we savored includes the killer Murdaca’s minestrone soup ($6.50); Capri pizza–with tomato sauce, fior di latte cheese, sausage, basil and calabrian chile ($15); and the Risotto Funghi–Italian rice prepared with portobello, shiitake and white mushrooms topped with truffle oil ($19).

 

 

Pietro’s Trattoria is well worth the detour next time your motoring up or down Interstate 5.
Skid Row Los Angeles. Photo Credit: Jimmy Cheng

Growth Industry: LA’s 60,000 homeless

360 Magazine Culture Editor Tom Wilmer reports from Skid Row at the Cardinal Manning Center Los Angeles

A tale of two cities—a far cry from the best of times for Los Angeles County’s 60,000 homeless

 

 

 

Skid Row in Los Angeles is home to more than 2,000 homeless who sleep on the streets, in doorways, alleys, under bridges, and on streetcars.

 

Skid Row Los Angeles. Photo Credit: Jimmy Cheng

Skid Row Los Angeles. Photo Credit: Jimmy Cheng

CLICK HERE to listen to Tom Wilmer’s NPR.ORG/KCBX podcast interview with Lawrence Hurst, Director of Social Services, and Njambi Kingori, Deputy Director of Social Services at the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul’s Cardinal Manning Center, located in the heart of Skid Row.

Skid Row is just a slice of a larger population of homeless in Los Angeles County with a total homeless population of around 60,000. And this does not include the cities of Glendale, Pasadena, and Long Beach—three of the County’s larger towns.

Skid Row Los Angeles home to more than 2,000 homeless. Photo Credit: Jimmy Cheng

Skid Row Los Angeles home to more than 2,000 homeless. Photo Credit: Jimmy Cheng

More than 30 percent of the homeless population is mentally ill, not to mention the drug addicted and alcoholics. Los Angeles County witnessed a 20 percent increase in homelessness in the past year.

Skid Row Los Angeles. Photo Credit: Jimmy Cheng

Skid Row Los Angeles. Photo Credit: Jimmy Cheng

 

From January 2016 to January 2017, the homeless count rose from an estimated 46,000 to 60,000.

And a dominant driver has been the skyrocketing rents in LA County that averaged a 20 percent increase in rental costs over the past two years alone.

 

Less than two blocks from the heart of LA's Skid Row is a different world--where wealth abounds. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Less than two blocks from the heart of LA’s Skid Row is a different world–where wealth abounds. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

The new growth industry in homelessness is not necessarily drugs and alcohol but people being evicted from their homes due to an inability to pay exorbitant rents. 

There are approximately 1,270 mission and 24-hour shelter beds in the Skid Row area, but there are often more than 2,400 homeless camped out in the greater Skid Row neighborhood.

 

Thankful diner at Thanksgiving Dinner at Cardinal Manning Center in the heart of LA's Skid Row.

Thankful diner at Thanksgiving Dinner at Cardinal Manning Center in the heart of LA’s Skid Row.

Among the numerous agencies caring for LA County’s homeless is the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul.

 

 

 

You are invited to subscribe to the Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR Podcast travel show Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer via: 

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Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer winner of the Lowell Thomas Award 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013

Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer winner of the Lowell Thomas Award 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013

 

Carla Contreras, Deputy Director of Store Operations at Saint Vincent de Paul’s Thrift Store

Thrifting at Saint Vincent de Paul

Culture Editor Tom Wilmer takes us on an insider’s tour of Saint Vincent de Paul’s trendy Thrift Store in the heart of downtown Los Angeles

Saint Vincent de Paul's downtown Los Angeles Thrift Store

Saint Vincent de Paul’s downtown Los Angeles Thrift Store. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Saint Vincent de Paul’s downtown Los Angeles Thrift Store, the largest in Los Angeles County and one of the largest thrift stores in America, provides quality merchandise to those in need as well as a burgeoning trade with millennials and Gen Z.

CLICK HERE to listen to the NPR/KCBX podcast with Alfred Rodriguez, Director of Operations, and Carla Contreras, Deputy Director of Store Operations

The secret is out that this is the place to score a great bargain—and it’s a win-win as all proceeds go to support Saint Vincent de Paul’s various programs including the Cardinal Manning Center in the heart of Skid Row.

 

Cardinal Manning Center in the heart of Skid Row, downtown Los Angeles

Cardinal Manning Center in the heart of Skid Row, downtown Los Angeles

The Cardinal Manning Center includes overnight accommodations for sixty five homeless folk. Saint Vincent also operates a summer camp in the hills above Santa Barbara.

In addition to a vast section at the Thrift Store filled with clothing, shoes and related apparel, there’s an entire section filled with furniture.

The Thrift Store is ardently supported by individual donations, as well as brand new items donated by regional manufacturers.

The old song in the world of thrift stores is “gently used” but at Saint Vincent de Paul you’ll also discover brand new items donated by manufacturers–from shoes to clothing that were earmarked as production overruns or last year’s trends.

Brand new shoes are just a sampling of the super deals at Saint Vincent de Paul's Los Angeles Thrift Store

Brand new shoes are just a sampling of the super deals at Saint Vincent de Paul’s Los Angeles Thrift Store

The sale sticker prices will cause reverse sticker-shock as the prices are jaw dropping inexpensive.

 

Antique pump organ for $99 at Saint Vincent de Paul's Los Angeles Thrift Store

Antique pump organ for $99 at Saint Vincent de Paul’s Los Angeles Thrift Store

For example, how about a pair of brand new tennis shoes for $5, an 1890’s antique pump organ for $99 (try same item in a Malibu thrift shop for $1,000 to $1,200), a three-piece gently used, elegant leather couch-ensemble for $350.

The customer demographic includes much more than low-income earners.The store maintains a passionate following by those with a passion for green, environmentally conscious living, shabby-chic-trenders, and young start-out couples on a limited budget.

Wealthy customers often roll up in their Mercedes with a large stack of donations and subsequently walk out with an armload of purchases.

Alfred Rodriguez, Director of Operations at Saint Vincent de Paul's Los Angeles Thrift Store

Alfred Rodriguez, Director of Operations at Saint Vincent de Paul’s Los Angeles Thrift Store

Even Hollywood studios gets in to the act at Saint Vincent de Paul. Set decorators frequently purchase furniture, clothing, miscellaneous décor, and more to outfit an entire set.

 

Carla Contreras, Deputy Director of Store Operations at Saint Vincent de Paul’s Los Angeles Thrift Store

Carla Contreras, Deputy Director of Store Operations at Saint Vincent de Paul’s Los Angeles Thrift Store

And then when filming is a wrap, the set designers drive up in their trucks and donate all of their purchases back to the thrift store…a classic win-win.

 

Society of Saint Vincent de Paul has been serving the needs of Los Angelenos for more than a century

Saint Vincent de Paul Los Angeles has been serving the poor and homeless community since 1904.

 

Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer Apple Podcast and NPR One album art

Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer Apple Podcast and NPR One album art

You are invited to subscribe to the Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR Podcast travel show Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer via: 

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Twitter: TomCWilmer

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Culture Editor @360magazine

Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer winner of the Lowell Thomas Award 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013

Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer winner of the Lowell Thomas Award 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013

From Super Model to Mobster’s Wife

360 Culture Editor Tom Wilmer met up with Georgia Durante, the author of the best-selling book, The Company She Keeps–chronicling her amazing life journey from the most photographed woman in America to mobster’s wife to Hollywood stunt driver.

 

The Company She Keeps book cover

Georgia Durante grew up in Rochester, New York where her modeling career commenced when she was just 13 years old. Before long her stunning looks propelled her to cover-girl stardom as the most photographed young woman in America—and became known nationwide as “The Kodak Girl”.

 

Georgia Durante--once known as "the most photographed woman in America

Georgia Durante–once known as “the most photographed woman in America

 

Georgia Durante as the Kodak Summer Girl--recognized nationwide

Georgia Durante as the Kodak Summer Girl–recognized nationwide

CLICK HERE to listen to Georgia Durante’s NPR/KCBX podcast interview

By happenstance, she got involved with the mob. Durante says “growing up in Rochester, most all of my friends were Italian.” She says “Everyone knew guys who were involved in the mob, and it was just part of the social fabric and taken for granted. We really didn’t think much about it.

Georgia Durante at height of her modeling career

In her late teens legendary mobsters such as Carlos Gambino, and Sammy Giancana took Durante under the wing. And that’s how she came to marry a mobster, and earned a reputation as a skillful, in-demand mob getaway driver.

 

Georgia Durante and her mobster husband Joe

Georgia Durante and her mobster husband Joe

Durante’s life took an ugly turn when she realized too late her husband was a ruthless and abusive person who had no problem holding a pistol to Durante’s head to play a game of Russian roulette. She eventually escaped from her life as a mobster’s wife. But her modeling career came to a crashing halt when she realized she now had to live a life totally out of the limelight—to hide from the mob and her evil ex.

Durante found the perfect place to live under the radar—she repurposed her mob getaway driver skills by hiring on as a Hollywood stunt car driver, and quickly earned a reputation as one of Tinseltown’s most skilled and daring stunt car drivers.

Georgia Durante at work in Hollywood as a stunt driver

Today, Durante lives in LA where she dedicates her time to speaking before battered women’s groups and running her magical hideaway, Enchanted Manor—an 18,000 square-foot facility situated in the quiet Los Angeles, Valley Village neighborhood cul-de-sac, not far from North Hollywood. 360-degree View of Enchanted Manor

Georgia Durante’s Enchanted Manor in Los Angeles

The Manor is a popular destination for private parties, weddings, gatherings and meetings. It’s also a popular location site for films, music videos, and productions including Lifetime’s production “William and Kate”.

Georgia Durante with her granddaughter at Enchanted Manor

 You are invited to subscribe to the Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR Podcast travel show Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer via:  Apple Podcast NPR.ORG Podcast Directory  

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 Twitter: TomCWilmer

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Culture Editor @360magazine

Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer winner of the Lowell Thomas Award 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013

Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer winner of the Lowell Thomas Award 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013

 

 

 

National Civil Rights Museum

Culture Editor Tom Wilmer reports from the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee

Faith Morris External Affairs Officer at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Faith Morris External Affairs Officer at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

The Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968 serves today as the powerful anchor of the National Civil Rights Museum in MemphisTennessee.

Cick here to listen to the KCBX/NPR podcast with Culture Editor, Tom Wilmer and Faith Morris, External Affairs Officer at the National Civil Rights Museum.

Lorraine Motel-Room 306 where Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Martin Luther King delivered his last speech at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee on March 3rd 1968. The next day King was assassinated while standing on the balcony of his room at the Lorraine Motel.

Twenty-three years later, the National Civil Rights Museum was unveiled on the site of the old Lorraine Motel.

Through powerful exhibits and interpretive displays the history and legacy of civil rights is showcased–from the arrival of the first slaves on the shores of America to lynchings, sit-ins, the Freedom Riders, Rosa Parks in Birmingham, Brown Vs. Board of Education, and the perpetuation of Jim Crow today.

 

Freedom Riders Greyhound bus firebombed by white supremacists in Alabama in 1961

Freedom Riders Greyhound bus firebombed by white supremacists in Alabama in 1961

Charred hulk of the firebombed Greyhound bus on display at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Charred hulk of the firebombed Greyhound bus on display at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

The façade of the iconic Lorraine Motel was preserved chillingly intact complete with vintage autos parked out front, but on the inside of the motel rooms, past the curtains, is the massive museum.

Poignant displays include an intact burnt out Greyhound bus that was firebombed by white supremacists during Freedom Summer in 1961, and the original lunch counter from a powerful student sit-in that was captured on film in 1960.

 

School field trip to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

School field trip to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

The museum is located on Mulberry Street in the heart of the South Main Arts District in downtown Memphis, six blocks from the Mississippi River.

If you go plan on spending a minimum of two or three hours to experience the highlights, but with dozens of historic films playing continuously, you could easily spend an entire day at the museum.

http://www.civilrightsmuseum.org/

You are invited to subscribe to the Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR Podcast travel show Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer via:

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Twitter: TomCWilmer

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Culture Editor @360magazine

Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer winner of the Lowell Thomas Award 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013

Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer winner of the Lowell Thomas Award 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013

 

Child star recalls filming “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Culture Editor Tom Wilmer visits with child star in film classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Back in 1946 six year-old Jimmy Hawkins played the role of Tommy in It’s a Wonderful Life. Decades later the film was voted the most inspirational movie of all time by the American Film Institute.

When It’s a Wonderful Life hit silver screen for Christmas season in 1946, it was a box-office flop and lost more than $500,000 even though it was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. At the time, producer Frank Capra did not think of his movie as a Christmas-themed story. The association gained momentum over the years.

I recently visited with Jimmy Hawkins and he recalled his role as Tommy, insights about Frank Capra, Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, and other cast members. His recollections were as vivid and fresh as if the movie was filmed a year ago, rather than 71 years ago.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE KCBX/NPR.ORG PODCAST

Film clip from the movie "It's a Wonderful Life"

Film clip from the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Hawkins also talks about his subsequent roles as a teen heartthrob on the Donna Reed Show and other television series.

He starred in the first Elvis movie, Girl Happy, and subsequently worked as a Hollywood producer. During the course of his career, Hawkins starred in or produced more than 500 movies and television shows.

Hawkins also shares the secret of the belated success and cult-like love of It’s a Wonderful Life that didn’t take off until the 1970’s when someone forgot to renew the copyright.

 

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